Iowans invited to attend meetings, comment on collaborative state water quality plan

From a press release by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources:

A new state water quality plan – the result of a major collaborative effort between local, state and federal government organizations, universities and a diverse set of stakeholder groups – will be the focus of five public meetings across the state in April.

The plan, developed over 15 months, looks at the current state of water quality in Iowa and outlines ideas for improvement. Highlights include steps to develop a more consistent public outreach message, improving technical assistance, and fostering new partnerships for improved water quality.

“The only way to realize significant changes in water quality is through steadfast collaboration between water quality professionals and the citizens of this state,” said DNR Director Roger Lande. “This plan exemplifies the kind of transparent, cooperative approach that is necessary to advance the good work already being done.”

Iowans interested in the plan have a chance to learn more by attending one of five meetings. All meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Council Bluffs: April 18, Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave.
  • Storm Lake: April 19, Prairie Lakes AEA, 824 Flindt Dr., Suite 105
  • Iowa City: April 23, Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn St.
  • Cedar Falls: April 24, Auditorium at the University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education, southeast corner of Jennings Drive and Campus Street
  • Windsor Heights: April 26, Windsor Heights Community Center – Colby Park, 6900 School St.

The plan is accessible on the DNR website at: http://watershed.iowadnr.gov.

The DNR will accept comments on the plan, from both those that attend a meeting and those who do not, through May 21 via:

  • E-mail: jeff.berckes@dnr.iowa.gov
  • Mail: Jeff Berckes, care of Iowa DNR, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319

After gathering comments from Iowans, the DNR will submit the plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Clean Water Act requires that each state update and maintain a water quality plan, also called a “Nonpoint Source Management Plan,” in order to be eligible for federal program support.

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